On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media D/B/A Argus Leader. The case centers around an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was used to deny a request for data from government vendors as part of a newspaper’s food-stamp fraud investigation.
While it seems that this case has nothing to do with abortion, according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), it could actually have implications for Planned Parenthood, and how much information U.S. taxpayers are allowed to know about the abortion corporation’s use of federal funds. Planned Parenthood uses the same FOIA exemption (Exemption 4) that the Food Marketing Institute uses in order to prevent pro-life organizations from exposing the truth about how Planned Parenthood spends the $500 million in taxpayer dollars they receive a year. Exemption 4 covers “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential.” This allows government contractors like Planned Parenthood to deem all of their spending of taxpayer funds confidential. It’s “illogical,” according to ADF, because it negates the value and purpose of why the FOIA exists in the first place.
It is because of this that ADF has filed an amicus brief on behalf of New Hampshire Right to Life (NHRTL) regarding denied requests for information on Planned Parenthood’s spending of federal dollars. ADF says that the courts have “defined this exemption much more broadly than originally intended – allowing the government to limit access to information.” As a result, government contractors like Planned Parenthood can hide information that may lead to public scrutiny of their actions.
In the past, NHRTL requested information about Planned Parenthood, revealing the abortion business is billing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for birth control pills at a 388 percent higher rate than what it costs to buy the same birth control pills at Walmart. According to ADF, Planned Parenthood pays a low price for the pills, gives them to low-income women for free, and then sends an exorbitant bill to the government. Taxpayer money then pays Planned Parenthood that 388 percent higher rate on birth control pills. It’s a clear sign that there may be more inappropriate use of federal funds happening at Planned Parenthood. And it deserves investigating.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Argus Leader and allows information to be used in the food-stamp fraud investigation, it could mean that Americans will finally be able to learn exactly how Planned Parenthood spends the hundreds of millions in federal funds they receive. They have been caught committing Medicaid fraud in the past, and have failed to report the sexual abuse of young girls as mandated, which means learning the full truth of how Planned Parenthood spends federal funds is necessary for the safety of women and children.
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